Weight Loss Nation Sloppy Joe's - A Key West Tradition 7/10/18
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Hey Weight Loss Nation!


I recently visited “Key West” with my Friends Christy Haussler & Allison Willwood of Team Podcast.

Team Podcast

They took me all over “The Keys.”  I went to some great restaurants and did some great activities. I’ll be telling you about them in upcoming episodes.

Today, I’m going to tell you about the Famous “Sloppy Joe’s” in Key West.

Sloppy Joe’s – Key West

201 Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040 – corner of Greene St since 1939

(305) 294-5717


Daily 9:00 – 4:00am

Sunday 12:00 – 4:00am


Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine that the United States went through a period of time, when Alcohol was “prohibited” and illegal.

That period of time, from January 16, 1920 (when the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquor went into effect) until the ratification of the 21st Amendment (The Gov’t had to write another amendment to repeal the 18th Amendment) went into effect on December 5, 1933.

On that same day, December 5, 1933, became the “Official beginning” of the famous Sloppy Joe’s in Key West.

Joe Russell, became a legitimate saloon owner of the “Blind Pig” which served alcohol to the Key West community. The saloon changed it’s name to the “Silver Slipper,” with the addition of a Dance Floor, but that didn’t matter to the regulars who enjoyed good friends, gambling and fifteen cent whiskeys.

It was Ernest Hemmingway the famous American novelist, and patron of Russell’s bar from the start…..who encouraged Russell to change the name of the bar to “Sloppy Joe’s”

Sloppy Joe’s was adopted from Jose Garcia Rio’s “Havana Club” which sold liquor and iced seafood.

Because the floor was always WET with melted ice, the patrons would tease Jose….known as the American Name of  “Joe” with running a “Sloppy Place.” The  name ….”Sloppy Joe” stuck.

Joe Russell migrated “Sloppy Joe’s” down the street to the now famous “201 Duval Street” on May 5, 1937, when his rent was raised to $4.00 a week from $3.00 a week and he refused to pay the rent increase.

Joe Russell bought the building for $2,500.

Hemmingway was a good friend of Joe Russell’s and was a frequent patron at Sloppy Joe’s until he left Key West in 1939.

Today, Sloppy Joe’s operates very similar to the come-as-you-are attitude Joe Russell branded back in 1933.

The restaurant, entertainment and retail divisions, compliment each other and serve the Key west community 365 days a year.

You’ll find the Restaurant serves All-American favorites, with a touch of Caribbean flare.

The menu is mainly comprised of Burgers, Sandwiches and Salads.

“Sloppy Joe’s” is a “Favorite” Tourist attraction. The food choices in this restaurant are going to be fan-favorite “Pub Food” with daily specials.

For “Healthy” eating, I have a couple of recommendations. For Salads…I would have either the “House Salad” or “Greek Salad.”

Or…..I would order the grilled or blackened Chicken or Fish Sandwich and tell your waiter/waitress to “skip” the bread.

The House Salad is made with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheddar & jack cheese and croutons.

Tell your waiter or waitress to “skip” the croutons and add some “grilled” chicken or fish. You’ll pay $3 – $4 extra for the added meat.

They have Balsamic Vinaigrette or Italian dressing as the “healthier” than the other salad dressing choices. Ask for your dressing on the side.

The “Greek Salad” comes with Fresh Greens with a hard boiled egg, black olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onion, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini and Feta Cheese with a Greek Vinaigrette Dressing. $11.95

For this review….I had……the Peel & Eat “Key West Pink Shrimp” OMG!!!

Steamed in beer & served chilled

½ lb $9.95 you get 4-5 shrimp  1lb $17.25 you get  8-10 shrimp

I had the ½ pound……and I’m telling you…..Key West Pink Shrimp is the BEST Shrimp I’ve ever had!

Then……my guests and I shared the famous Original “Sloppy Joe Sandwich.” Ground beef in a sweet, tomato sauce, with onions, peppers & spices.  $9.95

I had “One Bite” of the infamous sandwich…..and it took me right back to my childhood.

I remember having sloppy Joe’s A LOT!

Who remembers having Sloppy Joe’s as a kid?

Well….Sloppy Joe’s in Key West has it down pat.

Not a “Healthy” choice at all with all the sugar in their sauce and the white bun…..but….hey.. you have to have one bite…..so you can say, “I’ve eaten at the original Sloppy Joe’s in Key West.”

Finally…..I had some of the “Mojo Pulled Pork Taco.” You get 3 corn or flour tortillas, filled with mojo pulled pork, grilled onions, served with Black Bean Sauce & Lime $10.50

How do you make a Mojo Pulled Pork Taco Healthy?

Open the tortilla and scrape the pork, beans & onions onto you plate THEN……eat it with your Fork!

You don’t need the tortillas! You do have to enjoy yourself on vacation!

It’s all about using your brain Nation!

You HAVE to LOOK at Menus BEFORE you walk into a restaurant…..ESPECIALLY when you are going to eat at a FAMOUS place like “Sloppy Joe’s” in Key West!


You’re listening to some good bands, having a good time with friends or family……..It is EASY to get caught up in the moment and start eating food that’s right in front of you….like French Fries……Chips & Salsa….you know what I mean.

Stay Focused and Order the House or Greek Salad with grilled chicken or fish.

It will Fill you up and you’ll be eating Healthy AND you’ll have a good time!

The ENTERTAINMENT is top notch at Sloppy Joe’s.

Bands from all over play at Sloppy Joe’s from noon till late into the morning.

I had the pleasure of listening to “for Pete’s Sake” who played some good covers, like “Hotel California” which is one of my favorites!

You can check out the Entertainment calendar on Sloppy Joe’s Website.


They have an Annual “Hemmingway Look Alike” Contest, where white bearded men come from all over the world to honor our beloved author’s birthday.

This year, the 38th Annual contest runs from July  19 – July 22nd

They will even have representatives from the Hemmingway look-alike society on hand, to sign up new members.

The website is  www.papalookalikes.com 

The retail store has lots of “Sloppy Joe” merchandise. You can buy Tee Shirts, Glassware, Party Supplies and other Souvenirs.

Check out the online store. I have the link for you.


Time to Rate Sloppy Joe’s!

Remember…..1 Avocado means the Restaurant was “Ehhh”…..so it was “Fair.”

2 Avocados means the restaurant was “Good” just not Awesome. It was missing the mark on the service provided or the atmosphere, not enough healthy foods….  and finally…..

“3”  Avocados means you are going to have a “GREAT” Restaurant Experience. You’ll have Great Food with Healthy options, Great Service and a Great Atmosphere. In other words…..Go THERE!

For my “Overall Experience,” I give Sloppy Joe’s 2 Avocados!!

The atmosphere is fantastic. The entertainment is fantastic! The only reason I can’t give Sloppy Joe’s a BIG 3 Avocados…is….because…..they simply don’t have enough “Healthy Options” on their Menu.

You can have salad or grilled chicken or grilled fish taco. The Key West Shrimp is great too….but

I can go ANYWHERE and get these Healthy Food Options.

Great Place, Lots of fun….just be prepared to order salad with chicken or fish.

Add some more “Healthy Food Options” to your menu Sloppy Joe’s! Give me a delicious grilled Grouper with Brown Rice and Grilled Veggies.

Or…..a Vegetable Soup.

Still……Sloppy Joe’s is a really Good place to visit

I want to personally thank Becky Lawrence, General Manager at Sloppy Joe’s and all the servers and very friendly bartenders, who made my experience at Sloppy Joe’s a memorable one.

If you are heading to Key West for a vacation, make sure Sloppy Joe’s is on your list for restaurants to visit!


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